Monday, February 8, 2016

Quick Fennel Kimchi Recipe- Paleo, Vegan, Easy

I really love fennel, love its crunch, love its versatility, love its mild licorice like flavor, love that it is lower in carbs, and that in the winter locally I can buy it very cheaply. I have my favorite recipes with it, like in a salad with lemon and mint, and roasted with honey mustard, but sometimes I want to change things up a bit and try new flavors with my favorite ingredients, and so, this dish was born.
The other week I had an insanely large amount of fennel, and I thought to myself- why not try Korean? I have yet to taste a Korean dish that I didn't like.

I love kimchi, the spicy Korean version of sauerkraut, but it doesn't love me- cabbage bothers my sensitive stomach, yes, even after fermenting. I thought- why not make a kimchi inspired dish, just with fennel instead of cabbage. And since I didn't have the patience to wait for it to ferment, I used a touch of vinegar to replace the acidity usually there from the lactic acid producing bacterias.
It came out terrifically, and may even be my new favorite way to prepare fennel!

 For those people who aren't a fan of the flavor of fennel, this method really eliminates much of that licoricey taste, so I suggest you try it. And for those like myself that cant eat cabbage, I must say that this taste is nearly identical to regular kimchi, so its an overall winner. Next time I may try fermenting the fennel for a more authentic taste as well as the nutritional benefit, but this quick fennel kimchi was terrific.

There are 3 ways to make this recipe- I will include them all.

Quick Fennel Kimchi Recipe- Paleo, Vegan, Easy

2 extra extra large bulbs fennel or 3 large fennel bulbs
1 tablespoon- 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon vinegar (optional) I used apple cider vinegar, but you can also use rice vinegar or white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon- 2 tablespoons hot sauce (I used my homemade hot sauce) or hot pepper flakes to taste
Water (optional)

1. Slice the fennel bulbs into very thin pieces. I included the stems as well, not just the bulbs.

2. Add the salt to the fennel. You can either let it sit to draw out the liquid, or pound it to release more liquid (the more traditional way of making kimchi and sauerkraut). If you let it sit to release the liquid, after about 15 minutes, you can rinse and strain it to wash off the salt. If using the pounding method, use less salt at first since you won't be washing it out, and you don't want to oversalt it- add more salt at the end if you feel it needs it.

3. Add ginger and garlic and hot sauce/hot pepper flakes and mix well.

.4. If you want to ferment, use the larger amount of salt listed and use the pounding method and move to a glass jar, adding as much water as needed to ensure all the fennel pieces are completely submerged, making sure to mix it so your salt concentration isn't lower at the top because of the added water. Cover and set aside, burping daily, until sour- at least a few days in a warm kitchen, and a week or two even in a cooler place like a winter kitchen without constant heating.

5. If you don't want to ferment, add vinegar to taste, and refrigerate. It should last a while in the fridge, at least 2 weeks, possibly more.


Notes: If you don't have fennel and/or can't get it cheaply, feel free to replace the fennel in this recipe with a medium head of cabbage, but following the same instructions.

Are you a fan of fennel? What is your favorite way to make it?
Ever have kimchi before? Are you a fan?
Does this look like a recipe you'd try?


  1. I love kimchi and I love fennel so this recipe is a winner. I'll pin it and wait until I can get fennel at a good price.

  2. Hi. Have you tried it with jicama? (Mexican root vegetable, nice crunch, ever so slightly sweet.) I'm hooked on jicama kimchi; can't get enough of it.

    I came here because I just bought my first fennel, and googled to see if it's kimchi-able. I guess it is! Thanks.


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